Dan Rafael: Diego De La Hoya

Lara-Smith title bout in works

October, 30, 2014
Erislandy LaraMark Ralston/AFP/Getty ImagesJunior middleweight titlist Erislandy Lara will defend his belt against Ishe Smith on Dec. 12.

A few notes from around the boxing world:

• The fight has not been formally announced yet but junior middleweight titlist Erislandy Lara (19-2-2, 12 KOs) is supposed to defend his belt for the first time against former titlist Ishe Smith (26-6, 12 KOs) on Dec. 12 (Showtime) in a fight that was originally scheduled to take place on May 2. The likely site is San Antonio. Although Lara lost a decision in his last fight to Canelo Alvarez in July, he still holds a title because the fight was at 155 pounds, one over the division limit and, therefore, not a title bout. Smith lost his title in his first defense to Carlos Molina in September 2013 and, in his return, stopped journeyman Ryan Davis in the second round May 2. Smith was originally supposed to challenge Lara on that date, but when he dropped out of the fight in order to accept the big fight with Alvarez, Davis replaced him.

• Heavyweight Andy Ruiz (23-0, 17 KOs) is due to take on the severely faded former titlist Sergey Liakhovich on Dec. 20 (UniMas) in Phoenix, according to Top Rank. Ruiz scored a first-round knockout of low-level opponent Kenny Lemos last Saturday. While Ruiz, 25, won easily he was in poor condition, weighing a soft 272 pounds, 22 more than his previous fight in May. The 38-year-old Liakhovich (26-6, 16 KOs) has lost three of his past four by knockout, including two fights ago to Deontay Wilder, who drilled him so badly in the first round of their August 2013 fight Liakhovich was left literally twitching on the canvas when he hit the deck and was out cold. Liakhovich won his last fight, an eight-round decision against Chad Davis, whose record was 5-11 entering the fight.

• Golden Boy has announced opponents for junior featherweight Joseph Diaz Jr. (12-0, 8 KOs), featherweight Julian Ramirez (12-0, 7 KOs), junior featherweight Diego De La Hoya (7-0, 5 KOs) and Chinese heavyweight Taishan Dong (1-0, 1 KO), all of whom are scheduled to fight on “Golden Boy Live” on Nov. 13 (10 p.m. ET, Fox Spots 1/Fox Deportes) at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California. Diaz, a 2012 U.S. Olympian, will face Roberto Castaneda (21-7-1, 15 KOs). Ramirez, nephew of the late former junior lightweight champion Genaro Hernandez, will face Pedro Melo (11-5-2, 2 KOs). De La Hoya, Oscar De La Hoya’s first cousin, faces Ali Gonzalez (6-3, 1 KO). Dong faces Michael Lane (0-3).

• Zanfer Promotions canceled its card Saturday night in Tijuana, Mexico. The reason was because featherweight Manuel Garcia injured his right hand and was forced to drop out of the main event against former junior bantamweight titleholder Tomas Rojas (44-14-1, 29 KOs). The card was due to be televised in the United States on beIN Sports Espanol.
A few notes from around the boxing world:

•  Flyweight world champion Roman Gonzalez (40-0, 34 KOs), who won an alphabet title and the lineal championship via his ninth-round knockout of Japan’s Akira Yaegashi on Sept. 5 in Tokyo, is returning to Japan to make his first defense against the Philippines’ Rocky Fuentes (35-7-2, 20 KOs) on Nov. 22 in Kanagawa. The fight is on the undercard of junior lightweight titlist Takashi Miura (27-2-2, 20 KOs) of Japan defending against Mexico’s Edgar Puerta (23-4-1, 19 KOs). Teiken Boxing, which promotes Gonzalez, announced the card Monday.

A former strawweight and junior flyweight titleholder, Gonzalez, 27, of Nicaragua, likely will face unified flyweight titlist Juan Francisco Estrada in the first half of 2015 in a rematch of Gonzalez’s decision victory in a fantastic junior flyweight title fight in 2012. But first Gonzalez needs to beat Fuentes, 28, who lost his last fight by decision challenging flyweight titlist Amnat Ruenroeng in Thailand in January.

•  Junior middleweight John Jackson (18-2, 15 KOs), one of the fighting sons of former middleweight and junior middleweight titleholder Julian Jackson, had it rough in his last fight in June on the Miguel Cotto-Sergio Martinez undercard. After knocking Andy Lee down hard in the first round, nearly knocking him out and dominating the fight, Lee knocked Jackson out cold with a Hail Mary right hand in the fifth round. Now Jackson, 25, of the U.S. Virgin Islands, is scheduled for his ring return, which will be Nov. 15 in Cordoba, Argentina, against Carlos Adan Jerez (40-17-3, 18 KOs). Besides looking to rebound from the loss, Jackson is also seeking a bit of family revenge. Jerez handed Samuel Rogers, Jackson’s cousin, his first loss.

"John knows he got careless against Lee," said Sampson Lewkowicz, Jackson’s promoter. “He knows what he did wrong and paid a heavy price for it. He was beating Andy Lee all over the ring and forgot about his defense. It's something that will never happen again."

•  Some of Golden Boy’s best prospects will be in action on the Nov. 13 edition of “Golden Boy Live” (10 p.m. ET, Fox Spots 1/Fox Deportes) at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California. Junior featherweight Joseph Diaz Jr. (12-0, 8 KOs), a 2012 U.S. Olympian, headlines the card; junior featherweight Diego De La Hoya (7-0, 5 KOs), Oscar De La Hoya’s first cousin, is in the co-feature; and featherweight Julian Ramirez (12-0, 7 KOs), a nephew of the late former junior lightweight champion Genaro Hernandez, and Chinese heavyweight Taishan Dong (1-0, 1 KO) also are scheduled to appear. All will face opponents to be determined.

•  Japan’s Takashi Uchiyama (21-0-1, 17 KOs), 34, will seek his ninth successful defense when he faces Israel Perez (27-2-1, 16 KOs), 35, of Argentina on Dec. 31 in Tokyo. Uchiyama has not fought since last New Year’s Eve. Perez will be fighting for a world title for the first time. "I have experience. I am in shape and I am very much aware that I am going to bring the championship home,” Perez said. “I will not disappoint and will make my dream of becoming champion of the world a reality. Uchiyama is a good boxer, but not unbeatable.”

R. Rios, Orozco in action Oct. 9

August, 29, 2014
Ronny Rios, Antonio Orozco and Diego De La Hoya, three of Golden Boy’s up-and-coming fighters, will all be in action on an Oct. 9 card announced Wednesday.

Rios (23-0, 10 KOs), a featherweight contender, will be fighting at junior lightweight in the main event of the "Golden Boy Live" card (Fox Sports 1/Fox Deportes) at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California. Rios will take on Robinson Castellanos (19-10, 12 KOs) in a 10-rounder.

Aggressive welterweight Orozco (20-0, 15 KOs) will face the long-faded former junior lightweight titlist Steve Forbes (35-13, 11 KOs) in the 10-round co-feature. Forbes has lost five fights in a row and is 3-10 in his past 13.

In the six-round opener, De La Hoya, a 20-year-old cousin of Golden Boy promoter Oscar De La Hoya, will meet an opponent to be determined in a junior featherweight fight.

"Ronny Rios and Antonio Orozco are two of this [Southern California] area's most talented fighters and we'll see if they're ready for the next level on Oct. 9," said Oscar De La Hoya, who will be ringside. "I'm also looking forward to seeing the new De La Hoya era take charge with my cousin Diego in the ring again and meeting everyone on fight night and talking about this great sport and what we can do to make it even better."

Porter-Diaz II offers appetizer

September, 11, 2013
LAS VEGAS -- The fight week festivities for the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Canelo Alvarez megafight on Saturday night kicked off on Tuesday afternoon with the grand arrivals of the fighters walking down a red carpet in the packed and raucous MGM Grand lobby.

But just before that, those fans were treated to the final news conference for the appetizer
boxing show on Thursday night (Fox Sports 2, 10 ET) at the MGM's Premier Ballroom.

The card is headlined by a rematch between welterweights Shawn Porter (21-0-1, 14 KOs) and Julio Diaz (40-8-1, 29 KOs), who fought to a draw in an excellent fight in December.

"It's showtime," said Porter, who was the heavy favorite against Diaz in the first fight but was surprisingly held to a draw by the former two-time lightweight titleholder. "This is a big week for me. I'm very excited. This is my first time fighting here in Vegas, the main event on the card. It doesn't get any better than that. I had a great camp. Can't wait to bust this joker up again, take care of business and set the record straight."

Diaz said the rematch will not go the distance.

"A couple of years ago, the boxing world retired me; supposedly I was done," Diaz said. “But here I am still headlining shows. I never gave up and I kept on working hard, and I'm still here. The first time around, we had a good fight. I was coming back, gaining my confidence. Right now, I think I'm where I need to be. I'm very excited and I'm coming with everything. This fight, we will not need judges. Any way it goes, it's not going to a decision. I guarantee you that."

In the co-feature, super middleweight prospect Badou Jack (15-0, 10 KOs), a former Olympian and one of the most promising fighters under the banner of Mayweather's promotional company, faces his best opponent yet in Marco Antonio Periban (20-1, 13 KOs), who fought for a vacant world title in his previous fight but lost a decision in a brutal battle with Saki Bika in June.

In a third televised fight, junior middleweight prospects Hugo Centeno Jr. (19-0, 10 KOs) and Julian Williams (13-0-1, 7 KOs) will square off.

The card also will feature junior middleweight prospect Jermall Charlo (15-0, 11 KOs), the pro debut of 19-year-old junior featherweight Diego De La Hoya (Oscar's cousin) and three 2012 U.S. Olympians in welterweight Errol Spence, middleweight Terrell Gausha and heavyweight Dominic Breazeale.